Carbon, Carbon Everywhere…

Words: Guy Andrews and Rohan Dubash

Nothing wrong with that, really. But it wasn’t the first time at Eurobike a notable brand manager said to me that they wished the product cycle was two years and not annual – Such is the relentless push to sell more bikes. Eurobike is a huge, gargantuan beast of a show that is impossible for the average bike journalist to get around in one day. So we head over for three or four days to set up the next year of product launches, factory visits and just to meet old friends. It’s a dirty job and all that.

Walking around the show this year with regular Rouleur technical contributor Rohan Dubash was a complex but enlightening experience. Rohan’s insight and opinion is steeped in many decades of cycling knowledge – I really have no idea where he stores it all – the facts and figures of frames, builders, components and technologies. Stuff that you remember when he says it, but you’d lost somewhere along the way. ‘Fail’ is a word he uses readily. Be it bar tape wrapping, cable routing or paint finishing, the sentence “That’s a fail” was one that highlighted many stands, even in the sacred Italian Hall.

As a result our ‘bike of the show’ award wasn’t really an idea we kept with for long, it seems that most manufacturers aren’t innovating as much as previous years and tweaking colours and component specs doesn’t really amount to much ‘news’. The Cielo cross bike and Canyon’s new TT rig was as close as we got to being really excited about a bike… (If you want to see more head to they have piles of new bike pics.)

However, in between meetings, we found ourselves being attracted to the more weird and wonderful stuff that makes cycle shows such a pleasure. We had our ‘Heart on a Stick’ cocktail stick and an ice cream shovel as Rohan’s very own Rouleur awards (the heart is a good thing and the shovel a fail), we promise to take it more seriously next time.

And, anyway, you’ve probably read all about the new bikes already, no?

Some traditions at Eurobike never change. The Kelly Bikes stand was a constant source of attention as the body painting commenced. Can’t remember much, if anything about their bikes, which goes for most of the show’s visitors I suspect…I also can’t remember if we awarded a couple of girls having their boobs painted a ‘Heart on a Stick’ or ice cream shovel so I think they should get both.

We had to award Spongebob Squarepants (and his pal) the Rouleur Euro-like ‘Heart on a Stick’ seal of approval simply because we love slightly cheesy cycle accessories and who doesn’t love Spongebob?

Chris King, manufacturer of the worlds finest headsets, not to mention hubs, bottom brackets and some beautiful bikes, was one of the most worthy recipients of the Rouleur ‘Heart on a Stick’ for his determination to fix his broken coffee grinder. He persevered for over 15 minutes un-blocking the machine so that we all got a quality caffeine fix…Cheers Chris!

At last a unique idea! This simple pedal from Ali @ Moto was perfectly executed. An ex Pro BMXer, looking to make his way as a manufacturer, Ali managed to turn out this elegant, functional pedal that mixes skateboard technology with street riding. He started out with limited resources but we were very impressed and wish him well…

Guy (Rouleur Ed) confessed his weakness for vending machines whilst walking round Friedrichshafen one evening. This exhibit on the Schwalbe stand brought a smile to his face. Given the meteoric rise of popularity of cycling in the UK how long ’til we see one of these in every town?

Rouleur’s ‘Heart on a Stick’ was also awarded to  the return of SRAM’s grip shift. You’ve got to love the simplicity of the design and it always reminds me of my old Raleigh Grifter whenever I see or ride a bike with these on.

An instant winner of a ‘Heart on a Stick’… I can’t believe it took so long for someone to do this and market the idea. This imaginative fitting can be mounted to virtually any bike sporting an a-headset and immediately converts a ‘dead space’ into something rather more useful. Lots of potential we think for alternative inserts. Micro Garmin perhaps ?

We had to award our Eurobike seal of approval not just to one product but to Wheels Manufacturing who have carved something of a niche for themselves.  Supplier of many quality parts their bearing removal and press systems are things of beauty and their range of replacement dérailleur gear hangers and identification wall chart indispensable in any quality bicycle retailer’s workshop. Tea towel anyone?

Oh dear… the first (and only) recipient of Rouleur’s Euro-Fail ice cream shovel was this De Rosa Merak. Complete with typo and indifferent cable management issues not to mention the moody paint finish. Our hearts broke a little when we spotted this.


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